Monday, October 27, 2008

The unspeakable jargon of this age

I know the passionate lover of fine style exposes himself to the hatred of the masses; but no respect for humanity, no false modesty, no conspiracy, no universal sufferage will ever force me to speak the unspeakable jargon of this age, or to confuse ink with virtue.

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Belief in progress is a doctrine of idlers and Belgians. It is the individual relying upon his neighbors to do his work.

There cannot be any progress (true progress, that is to say, moral) except within the individual and by the individual himself.

But the world is composed of people of can think only in common, in the herd.

-- Charles Baudelaire

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He must be theory-mad beyond redemption who shall still persist in attempting to reconcile the obstinate oils and waters of Poetry and Truth.

-- Edgar Allen Poe

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The essence of theory is that it comes afterwards.

-- Me.

7 comments:

Jordan said...

Essence, eh? So that, uh, precedes existence?

Just messing with you.

I believe theory can come before the work, as with say Coleridge, but as with Coleridge, this may be a dangerous precedent... for the work, anyway.

Not that you asked. But what are comment fields for, anyway.

Don Share said...

OK, I was messing with people, too. 'Twas Paul Valéry who said: "The essence of classicism is that it comes afterwards." He was funnier and smarter than I am, though.

the unreliable narrator said...

Idlers and Belgians! Rien à plus être dit.

Anonymous said...

>"I believe theory can come before the work, as with say Coleridge, but as with Coleridge, this may be a dangerous precedent... for the work, anyway."


Or for Coleridge, in both instances above, substitute "Flarf"? I've always thought of Flarf as a form of distressed Romanticism--and as in Coleridge, the theory plagiarized from German Romanticism, too...

Not that you asked. But what are comment fields for...

:~)

Kent

Jordan said...

Thanks, Kent. I should probably let you know about a comment of mine Sina Queyras may be posting to her blog later this week discussing that very subject. (To whet: theory came very late to the flarf party, if it came at all! and that belatedness... well, the note for Lemon Hound isn't much longer than this, even. I'll stop here.)

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. Is Jordan saying re Coleridge that Frost came before midnight?

In the beginning there was essence, of course. Avant la lettre, as it were.

Michael Robbins said...

Good Lord.